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A delicious comforting drink during cold weather and occasions such as Day of the Dead.


3 1/4 cups water, divided; or whole milk

1 cone piloncillo, or 5 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup masa harina

2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract, or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or 1 cinnamon stick

1 pinch salt


Heat 3 cups of the water or milk in a medium-sized saucepan and add the piloncillo or sugar. Cook and stir until the sweetener is dissolved. Piloncillo has a low burning point so if using, keep the heat on low to medium. If using milk, use low heat to avoid a quick boil and spillage.

Slightly warm up the remaining 1/4 cup of water and mix with the masa harina to make a slurry. Stir vigorously to avoid clumps of corn flour. Reserve.

Add the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and the masa harina slurry to the pot with the sweetened hot liquid. Stir for 1 minute.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes until thickened to the preferred consistency. Atole should be thick, creamy, and velvety, without lumps.

Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean, if using.

Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

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